Cleaning up hurts. Here it goes

I’m a compulsive liar.

I enable people. Enabling is when you can do it yourself, but I’ll do it for you, because that will force you to become dependent on me. You will be socially obligated to make me feel good about myself.

You tell me about something that happened to you. I can see that you’re editing your speech as you go. You’re doing it to ensure I will agree with you and therefore reinforce your identity as a victim / success story / explorer / unrealised genius. I agree with you. I tell myself that you’re a good person and deserve love. If I love you hard enough for long enough, you will learn to love yourself and improve yourself. You will magic yourself out of the position you put yourself into. I will work my arse off to help you maintain your identity. I will ensure your rapid self-evolution by guaranteeing you will never change. If you change, you will leave me behind, because I do not plan to change. You must stay the same, because I love you.

I monologue. The reality of looking you in the eye and seeing that I’m really fucking boring hurts. So I educate you on how you can be a better person. You’re welcome.

The whole point of this post is no one gives a shit about the drivel that comes out of my mouth. Sending total crap into the ether makes me feel intelligent. That makes me better than the other plebs.

One of you will tell me how strong and resilient I am. I’ll look bashful and brush it off. Then you’ll tell me how humble I am. I am humble. Worship me.

1 Like

I’ll tell you I am interested. Because I’m interested.

I entertain multiple possibilities about how you truly are, and there is some plausibility to the narrative you present.

You seem skilled at evoking projection and seem insightful about the inner process of people who want to help and some of the shadowy elements that are often mixed in and the complications they bring to the table.

For me, the challenge is perhaps also a limitation of the medium. I tend to prefer thinking things through, but increasingly recognize that with so many interpersonal situations that is at best a partial beginning of the orientation.

The actual energy or vibe as well as the developed trust and respect earned over time through action and experience seem to be larger drivers of cleaning up, but I have no idea how to articulate them. Even if I am directly involved, I think I will predictably do better with a humble approach of “I don’t know” regardless of what my mind or experience indicates.

In short, it’s something like retaining a childlike purity or curiosity of what can be learned or experienced as well as a resolve and strength to be vulnerable and resilient to being open to the immediacy of now, the present moment.

1 Like

All beliefs are self-fulfilling prophecies, thanks to the Reticular Activating System.

My definition of love is: “When I pay the admission fee”

This means everyone I’ve ever loved has believed: “She has to prove herself”

1 Like

I relate to the way you speak here about cleaning up in that you are writing mainly in the we quadrant. I feel like writing from the I quadrant more could help you gain more feeling of yourself as a separate individual.

Its painful to read someone writing from the we quadrant because i used to do it so often.

I think you’re being farrrr too hard on yoursefl, i dunno. I think probably we all ‘enable’ but you are aware of that fact that that’s what being there for someone does. It doesn’t mean it’s a malicious action. It can be a neutral action simply if you want care back, a give and take. It can be a selfless action if you do not expect any care back.

It sounds like you’re caring and that’s a big part of you? You dont have to dismiss that. It’s beautiful and powerful too. But maybe focusing more on the I, as you are doing through any shadow work on yourself, could be really helpful.


I did a breathwork session yesterday. Cognitively, I’d made it to the acceptance stage of grief, but emotionally, I was still in the other four stages. Thankfully, I feel congruent now.

Two years ago, I’d gotten stuck cognitively in the no man’s land after green. When I got an autoimmune disease, I learnt that emotionally, I was still magenta/red. As I let go of magenta, all my red coping mechanisms are dissolving. Has anyone found they got stuck emotionally at other colours too or is it smoother sailing?

My theory is that all stages are present all the time. New ones just emerge on top of the old ones. The lower stages are basically raw energy sources that need to get channeled. It’s not like low level fear or anger will ever go away. But they can be transformed.

Here’s a model that formalizes a bunch of practices I had previously cobbled together for personal use. Works for me anyway.

Disclaimer - I’m no therapist or spiritual coach. Good idea to consult someone like that. But I do hang out with skilled people in these areas, and the way I frame these things is generally consistent with more sophisticated versions of similar practices.

1 Like

That statement came to mind as I was just reading this:

1 Like

Im reminded of wolves.
Is howling at the moon what wolves do to send their “crap into the ether”?

A rooster does this as well when he wakes and realizes he has a day full of hens ahead of him. Is he shouting in bravado at the prospect of a day filled with mating or do i sense a hint of terror in the roosters voice that is not present in the lone wolf’s

I think humans would benefit from a practice of yelling out to the cosmos, whether they empathize the forlorn howl of the wolf, that of the rooster or the absurd “waka waka waka” of the endangered snipe, who taunts his evasion of snipe hunters at the end of a failed hunt.

Far better it would be if humanity sent these things out and be rid of them once and for all rather having them fester in the collective processor known as the internet.

1 Like

Something that could be helpful is doing golden shadow work to unearth the aspects of ourselves that are super wanted that we’ve pushed back

2 Likes I have been doing so much shadow work over the past year and I feel like I’ve lost coping mechanisms. It’s mainly at the lower stages. I feel like maybe I’ve transcended without doing enough including x

1 Like

That’s an amazingly good idea! It kind of resonates with my experience. A huge part of my “rite of passage” shadow work a couple years ago was that I was stuffing any inclinations to write or publish anything, under the general idea that my identity did not involve being a writer, and society kind of sucks, and nothing I might write would make a difference anyway, so I may as well just hang out in the woods. Then something cut loose, and like a minute later, my new identity is “I’m a writer”. Going to contract soon on an open source textbook project that will run a couple hundred pages anyway, so this isn’t just UL first person psychologizing anymore. But it started that way.

Serious Jungians may have some quarrel with this, but I see “shadow” as mostly energy that can’t be processed through existing identity structures. “Shadow” is not necessarily bad or evil. It’s just hard to handle when our sense of self is not set up to handle it. If a family of origin or native culture is too restrictive, there may be all sorts of virtuous energies lurking the shadow.


“Be careful when you cast out your demons that you don’t throw away the best of yourself.”

― Friedrich Nietzsche

Following my other response that shadow is essentially inconvenient energy, the challenge is to keep the energy, but find new and better ways to process it. The mature defense mechanisms are your friends. (10 of these listed in the article below).


Congratulations on having your textbook published! What is it on?

I felt I wasn’t ‘good enough’ to be writer for much of my life, though I started writing a novel when I was 7. Writing is freedom for our ideas <3, whether published or not. I’ve had a few poems published in journals/on websites and this has given me some confidence in the fact people want to read my work - that’s all I care about, rather than prestige, that anything could make a positive difference to people :). I’m going through some of my older work and it’s very dark though! Adding AI images to it all.

Thank you, I’ll check these out. I don’t think I relate to my shadow well enough. I agree that shadow is energy.

We’re developing an open curriculum text for Introduction to Information Technology.

The breakthrough I needed to open the writing floodgates was to drop any ideas of monetization, copyright enforcement, branding, etc. The ego structure needed to defend writing-as-business-model kills my muse. I had to shift to writing-as-public-service, and then the firehose started gushing. (Your mileage may very. Many people are professional writers and that works fine for them). Ironically, yes, we’re making some money on this project, but honestly, I just want it to happen for basically artistic creative reasons. What’s emerging through this is far more than my little self. One reason I basically live blog my writing processes here and in other social media is I am aiming for collective intelligence and an expansive, community-based identity. Also, when aiming for public-serving writing, it’s important to engage with various publics along the way.

On the topic of shadow work, when my writing floodgates opened, the first few essays out of the gate were basically primary process shadow dumps. No intention to publish any of that. But I go back and mine those themes from time to time. To put it in quadrant terms, the initial writing was very UL. Lately it’s more LL or even LR. It cools off and becomes more transjective or objective in tone. But the energy and motivation flow through the subjective.

1 Like

I love this [quote=“robert.bunge, post:17, topic:47660”]

It’s the way I think too. I couldn’t do it as a business model. It feels icky and also kind of pointless too! It’s so rare any writer makes a living from writing. Congrats that you have somewhat though

1 Like